Skip to main content

Full text of "Obituary Notice of WM. Parker Foulke"

See other formats


Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in the World 

This article is one of nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone in 
the world by JSTOR. 

Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other 
writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the 
mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. 

We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this 
resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non-commercial 

Read more about Early Journal Content at 
journal-content . 

JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people 
discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching 
platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit 
organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please 

November 6, 1868.] 481 [Lesley. 


Read before the American Philosophical Society, 
By J. P. Lesley. 

Willtam Parker Foulke was born at Philadelphia in 
1816; was entered as a law student in the office of John B. 
Wallace, in 1835 ; continued his legal studies, on the death of 
Mr. Wallace, in 1837, with John M. Scott; became practising 
attorney of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in January 1841 ; 
was married to Julia De Veaux Powel in 1855 ; and died, at 
his town residence in Pine street, on the 18th day of June, 1865, 
in the fiftieth year of his age. 

Mr. Foulke was elected to membership in this Society Octo- 
ber 20th, 1854, and served it in the Board of Officers and Mem- 
bers in Council from January 1863 until his death. For more 
than ten years he was a regular assistant at its meetings, and 
took the greatest personal interest in the doings of the Society ; 
proud of its fame, jealous of its honor, and unremitting in his 
efforts to direct and enlarge its active usefulness. He possessed 
uncommon administrative ability. Few men could see so quickly 
and directly through a complication. None surpassed him in an 
extempore statement. He was gifted with good judgment as 
well as with persuasive speech. 

The attachment which he exhibited to this venerable institu- 
tion was in part hereditary; for his grandfather, Dr. John 
Foulke, became a member of it January 20th, 1*786, and after- 
wards One of the secretaries of the Society. Dr. Foulke was 
the earliest demonstrator and lecturer on human anatomy in 
the Medical College of Philadelphia ; a polished and liberal man, 
zealous and humane. During the epidemic of yellow fever he 
would be absent from his home for several days at a time, devo- 
ting himself to medical attendance on the sick in the infected 
district. There was a tradition in the family that his wife, 
returning home one day, discovered to her dismay, that every 
quilt and blanket she possessed had been swept from her beds 
by the Doctor's orders, and sent where he considered them of 
more immediately pressing use. Nor was he less enthusiastic in 
his pursuit of science, and in his methods of instruction. On 
his return from France, where the balloon had lately been in- 
vented, he exhibited one for the first time in America, on the 

Lesley.] 482 [November 6. 

occasion of a lecture on Pneumatics, at the old hall of the Col- 
lege of Medicine, in Fourth street below Arch, to the great de- 
light of his scientific friends. 

Two streams, Philanthropy and Philosophy, ran naturally 
then through the veins of our departed friend and fellow mem- 
ber. The story of his life divides itself into these two chapters. 
His love of knowledge not only attracted him to the room in which 
we sit, filled with souvenirs of men, whose portraits surround us 
and represent the highest thinkings of the early days of the 
nation, — and to the rooms of the Academy of Natural Sciences, 
of which he became a member in November 1849, — but it attached 
him to the society of educated citizens whatever might be the 
special ground of their association ; and of cultivated foreigners 
who visited our city. His membership in the Historical Society 
of Pennsylvania commenced as early as January, 1842, and his 
interest in its proceedings never flagged. 

On the other hand, his warm heart, his sympathy with suf- 
fering wherever he saw it, his clear comprehension of the duties 
of society towards its unfortunate classes, working under the 
guidance of an uncommonly well balanced intellect, gave him 
an early and advanced position in the ranks of Christian Philan- 
thropists. It was in 1 845 — he was twenty-nine years old — when 
he took hold of two of the principal reforms of the age, and 
it may almost be said that he made one of them his own. 

In October of 1845 he became a Manager of the Pennsylvania 
Colonization Society ; and was sent as a delegate to the Annual 
Meetings of the mother Society held at the seat of government 
in 1853, 1854 and 1855, in which last year, he wrote, as Chair- 
man of the Committee, its report of " plans, for taking steps to 
obtain a completion of the partial exploration by the Govern- 
ment of the United States of the country lying east of Liberia." 
In his message of 1852, the President of the United States had 
published the fact that incipient measures had been taken 
towards the reconnoisance of the Continent of Africa, east of 
Liberia, directing Commander Lynch to attach himself to the 
squadron for that duty.* Mr. Lynch's report was made to the 
Secretary of the Navy from Philadelphia, September 5, 1853.f 

This reconnoisance was due to the earnest solicitations of the 
Pennsylvania Society, under the influence of Mr. Foulke, that 

* Annual Report A. C. S. Jan. 18, 1853, p. 13. t H. Doc. 1. 6i pages. 

1868.] JOg [Lesley. 

the stream of emigration should be directed no longer upon the 
unhealthy coast, but to the salubrious interior of the continent ; 
that stations should be selected in the hill country, and easy 
communications be established with the ports.* But there was 
a secret spring of opposition to the scheme, among the represen- 
tatives of certain portions of the slave-holding population of the 
South, which all the zealous efforts and enlightened arguments 
of Mr. Foulke and his fellow philanthropists could not stop. 
He often used to rehearse his adventures in the Capitol, and 
among them all the following was not the least instructive and 
discouraging : " On the night before the day when he expected 
the final passing of the Bill to secure the appropriation of the 
$25,000 necessary for the prosecution of the exploration, he was 
talking with a certain Senator in a parlor of the hotel. At the 
close of their interview, this gentleman, striking his hand upon 

the mantlepiece, said vehemently, ' By , Mr. Foulke, you 

shall have your Bill, I'll vote for it!' It was nevertheless the 
' No' of this man which on the following day turned the scale 
against the accomplishment of the desired project. The Bill 
was lost by one vote, and that was the vote of Senator Hunter, 
who had given him this pledge." 

Nothing came of this attempt to complete the exploration ; 
but its record is made interesting, in this memoir, by its relation 
to the arduous and entirely successful efforts which Mr. Foulke 
made, in after years, to set on foot the second expedition to 
the North Pole, commanded by Dr. Hayes. At the same 
meeting in Baltimore, 1855, Mr. Foulke, as chairman of another 
Committee on the apportionment of the representation of the 
State Societies, read its report, written evidently by himself, 
with his usual forcible statement and skillful arrangement of the 
divisions of his theme. The Constitution of the Colonization 
Society was a kind of parody of the Constitution of the United 
States, which permitted the discussion of political principles 
belonging to twenty or thirty millions of people, within the 
narrow limits of a Society which managed to ship five or six 
hundred emigrants, per annum, and whose entire income ranged 
between fifty and a hundred thousand dollars. In 1857 Mr. 
Foulke, as chairman of a committee " to consider the policy of 
the friends of Colonization, and to report such recommenda- 

* See Mr. Foulke's letter to the Nat. Intelligencer, July 1836. 

Lesley.] aqa [November 6. 

tions," &c, read the report, which he had written ; and his admi- 
rable style is manifest throughout. His interest in this and 
various other plans to extol and strengthen the colonization 
scheme, was inspired by a genuine anti-slavery sentiment, and 
never lost its zeal. He was elected Vice-president of the State 
Society in 1863, only eight months before he died. 

Mr. Foulke became a member of the Philadelphia Society for 
Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons in July, 1845. In 
the following N6vember he appears as one of the Acting Com- 
mittee ; and in May, 1846, as one of the visiting Committee for 
the Eastern Penitentiary. From that time he was indefati- 
gable in his attention to his assumed duties. He studied the 
subject of Prison Discipline profoundly. He allowed no state- 
ment for or against the peculiar Pennsylvania plan of Separation 
to escape him. He examined into the results obtained at Peni- 
tentiaries conducted under other kinds of discipline. He assist- 
ed his friend Haviland, the Architect, in devising improved 
ground plans, elevations and arrangements for new gaols. In 
all that he wrote on the subject, and it was not a little, one must 
respect the well studied statements of a thorough bred lawyer, 
the well balanced judgments of an unprejudiced investigator, 
and the ardor of a benevolent heart. 

Most of his papers on this subject were published in the 
Journal on Prison Discipline and Philanthropy, a quarterly 
journal of ninety-six pages, two numbers of which had appeared 
when he was appointed, April, 1845, its editor. He edited four 
numbers and then resigned, because of other duties. These 
papers afterwards appeared as separate pamphlets, to be distribu- 
ted to those who felt an interest in the cause. 

In March, 1846, he presented for adoption by the Acting Com- 
mittee a memorial to the Legislature asking for the passage of a 
law to secure accurate returns of facts from all the county jails, 
to serve as a basis for a full Annual 'Report of Criminal Statis- 
tics. In the autumn of that year he made an extensive tour in 
Pennsylvania and Maryland, to visit county prisons, and pub- 
lished a report of their discipline and condition, which attracted 
general attention, and produced some needful legislation in the 
right direction, but not until after voluminous correspondence, 
and his personal exertions at Harrisburg. Nothing but that 
tact which characterised him in all his undertakings could have 

1868.] 48^ [Lesley. 

secured the hoped for result. No man ever exhibited a more 
refined courtesy towards all kinds and classes of persons. His 
careful considerateness, his manly concession to prejudice, and 
to peculiarities of temperament, and his persuasive statement of 
the points he wished to carry, smoothed away before him all 
difficulties. But the execution of a law demanding such accu- 
rate and uniform reports as were indispensable for his object 
was found to be less easily attainable than its enactment. On 
his return from Harrisburg he reported a visit to the Lancaster 
Jail, which brought about action in the Society resulting in the 
erection of a new first class prison in that place. 

In 1847 he published a description of the New Bucks County 
Prison. " We look upon its erection," he writes, " as a harbin- 
ger of good to the State at large Thus may we at length 

accomplish a general reform, which has been too long delayed." 
Heated and ventilated on the best plan, furnished with baths and 
every other needful convenience for health, he looked upon this 
prison as a model. 

In the spring of 1850 he submitted the draft of a new law to 
procure uniformity of jail erection and discipline throughout the 
State upon the separate system, discriminating between the dif- 
ferent classes of detained persons, and providing for the comfort 
and health of all. 

In March, 1851, he published a detailed report of a plan for the 
New Schuylkill County Prison ; and afterwards a description 
of the same prison erected by Le Brun. " It would be scarcely 
credible," he begins, " had we not the unqualified fact before our 
eyes, that our government has permitted county after county to 
build public prisons in open defiance of the clearly expressed 
policy of our Legislature ; and that, except when the Prison So- 
ciety of Philadelphia has urged the subject upon the attention of 
our lawgivers, absolutely nothing has been done towards com- 
pelling county officers to give effect, within their jurisdiction, to 
the design of our laws in relation to public discipline. To our 
shame be it acknowledged, that while we boast of our reforms, 
and of their triumphant influence abroad, we are neglecting the 
most important of our penal institutions. Without a bureau, or 
even a clerk, or a clerk's cabinet, appropriated to the subject of 
prison administration ; without a report worth the name, upon 
the condition of jails throughout the State; with a law upon our 

Lesley.] 486 [November G. 

statute book which requires annual returns of information, and 
which is generally unexecuted, although less than five years old; 
we are content to permit the expenditure of funds, raised by 
taxation of our people, upon structures, the very ground plan 
of which is manifestly irreconcilable with the penal system which 
we are pretending to enforce under the authority of State laws, 
within the walls of State penitentiaries." 

In these words we see the motive that animated our friend 
in his long struggle with popular prejudice and indifference, in 
behalf of those whose imprisonment was demanded not by ven- 
geance but by social necessity. He congratulates his fellow 
citizens of Schuylkill County in their choice of public officers, 
" who have known how to disregard the paltry suggestions of a 
misjudged economy, and who have not hesitated to expend the 
public funds in accordance with the policy of our jurisprudence, 
and with a regard to the rights of individuals, as well as to the 
security of the community." 

Early in 1851 Mr. Foulke and another member of the Acting 
Committee, went to Harrisburg to secure the passage of a law 
such as has been mentioned above. In April they report the 
success of their arduous labors. The law required the transmis- 
sion of careful plans for every new county prison to the Secre- 
tary of State for his approval. Preparation was now made to 
furnish such plans when needed, and Mr. Foulke devoted unre- 
mitting attention to this work, and his published descriptions of 
model county prisons, extensively distributed within and with- 
out the limits of the State, exhibit his intelligence, discrimina- 
tion, business capacity and industry. 

The summer of 1851 was an active one for him. He reported 
his tour of visitation to Columbia, Montour, Union, Northum- 
berland, Dauphin, Blair and Berks County Prisons. Some of 
his reports were minute and laborious. In the following sum- 
mer he reported at large upon the state of the Berks County 
Prison : no detail of the building arrangement, discipline, or re- 
sulting experience seems to have escaped his practised and phi- 
lanthropic eye. 

In 1852 Mr. Foulke wrote a cordial obituary notice of his 
friend Haviland, the Architect of the Eastern Penitentiary 
Buildings, wherein he incidentally states the nature of the phi- 
lanthropic end which he himself kept steadily so many years in 

18B8.] 4 87 [Lesley. 

" The visits of Howard to the prisons of Europe, had brought 
to public notice not only the miserable condition of the disci- 
pline in most of them, but also many of their principal defects 
of construction. The modifications of interior arrangement first 
suggested for convicts in England, and subsequently enlarged 
and carried into successful operation in Pennsylvania, required 
great alterations of material structure. The design was to 
pass from a state of things, in which there was an indiscrimi- 
nate association of prisoners without labor, without instruction, 
without government, almost without restraint, except that of 
walls, chains, and the brutal tyranny of the strongest or boldest 
among the prisoners, to a state in which separation, good order, 
cleanliness, labor, instruction, and ready and continual super- 
vision should be maintained, within the limits of such fiscal 
economy as public opinion and resources rendered expedient. 
The earliest and most noted experiments were made at Hor- 
sham, Petworth, and Gloucester, in England ; and in the old 
Walnut street gaol, at Philadelphia. The record of these 
attempts fortunately still remains ; and it would be superfluous 
to discuss their want of adaptedness to any large scheme of 
separate discipline. The next remarkable effort was at Pitts- 
burg, where a circular prison was erected, so ill suited to its 
objects, that in less than ten years after its completion, it was 
demolished. The next step of progress was the erection of the 
Eastern Penitentiary ; and it must be obvious, that much was 
involved in the success or failure of its architect. There was 
not in all Europe a building suited to the objects of the con- 
templated work." 

In April, 1853, his memorial to the Legislature in favor of a 
House of Correction, was adopted by the Society. About the 
same time he started the subject of relief for persons suffering 
from the hardships and oppressions occurring in the practice of 
the Criminal Courts in the City and County of Philadelphia. 
So much is now done by various agencies to diminish these par- 
ticular evils and with such good results, that it is amazing the 
subject was not earlier broached. It shows how necessary to 
society, oftentimes, is the watchful, warm-hearted intelligence of 
a single person. 

Early in the Summer of 1855 Mr. Foulke visited Harrisburg, 
and was astonished and grieved to find that the law of 1847 had 

vol. x. — 3o 

Lesley.] 488 [November 6. 

become virtually a dead letter, and he urged the establishment 
of a Penal Bureau, which, however, was never done. But he 
published that year under the auspices of the Society a pamphlet 
of fifty pages entitled, " Remarks on the Penal System of Penn- 
sylvania, particularly with reference to County Prisons," accom- 
panied with elevations and ground plans drawn by Haviland, 
the pamphlet being a careful recast of a rapid sketch which he, 
Mr. Foulke, had written for the Journal of the Society.* It is 
full of the marks of a mind used to taking large views and ex- 
pressing them with a happy faculty. He took occasion in this 
pamphlet " to renew the serious appeal which it has been our 
duty," as he expresses it, " from time to time, to make in rela- 
tion to the local jails of the State." He gives a history of 
some of the county jails, and of our Eastern Penitentiary, and 
argues in favor of its system of separation. He adds to this a 
description of the New York County Prison. 

In February, 1858, Mr. Foulke first proposed the appointment 
of a Committee to revise the Penal Code of the State. His 
memorial, adopted by the Society, produced in due time the 
necessary legislation ; and he was appointed by the Society on 
a committee to confer with the State Commissioners, and to 
suggest such changes of the Code, as the long experience and 
close observation of the Society, had taught it to think desirable. 
The Commissioners were appointed in 1859, and a report of the 
conferences appeared the following year. 

In 1860 the report of the three Commissioners was submitted. 
Mr. Foulke soon after published, in a pamphlet of thirty-five 
pages, his " Considerations respecting the policy of some recent 
Legislation in Pennsylvania," the opening paragraph of which 
will very well illustrate the clearness of his thinking and the 
beauty of his style : — " The history of reforms of penal disci- 
pline resembles in many respects that of other attempts to 
remedy great social mischiefs. At first we have the disclosure 
of the main evil, to which the public eye and mind had become 
habituated, and the real magnitude, nature and causes of which 
were therefore slowly appreciated by the community at large. 
Then come the earnest efforts of a few well instructed and zeal- 
ous reformers, whose laborious task it is to obtain the authority 
and means requisite for proposed changes. They define the 
mischief, trace its causes, indicate the departures to be made 

* Reprinted by the Society in 1868. 

1868.] A CO [Lesley. 

from the old routine, and invent the machinery of the remedy 
which the government is to sanction, establish and conduct. 
During the first stage of such an undertaking, all minds are 
occupied with fundamental considerations ; and it is only after 
the experiment has made progress through some steps of trial, 
that its details receive the special scrutiny which is indispen- 
sable to complete success." 

He then takes up once more the old debate between separation 
and non-separation of Prisoners, and treats the subject of Punish- 
ments and Pardons upon the broadest ground. Starting from the 
acknowledged postulates that it is impossible to form a reliable 
judgment on the value of outward signs of penitence; that a 
strict observance of prison rules and discipline can never, by 
itself, be a fair criterion to enable us to judge how a prisoner 
will conduct himself after he has obtained his liberty ; that suf- 
fering is an essential element to any useful prison discipline, on 
whatever general theory imprisonment takes place, he criticises 
the whole ground plan of the New Penal Code, and charges to 
it want of due consideration and consultation, and improper 
haste. With the legal arguments we have nothing here to do. 
Our object is only to show in which direction his benevolent in- 
telligence exercised itself. 

In the Autumn of 1860 he was appointed a delegate to the 
Convention of State Prison Wardens, &c. (first held at Phila- 
delphia), adjourned to meet in the City of New York. At the 
Philadelphia meeting a citizen of Indiana had been appointed to 
prepare an essay in defence of the Associated or Congregate 
System of Prison Discipline; and Mr. Foulke to prepare an 
essay in defence of the Separate System. Three days the Con- 
vention sat, and resulted in the formation of a society, to meet 
for the first time in Baltimore in October, 1861. Mr. Foulke was 
made its Corresponding Secretary. The breaking out of the 
Rebellion prevented his ever acting in this capacity; but his 
essay was published in a pamphlet of 112 pages, and was enti- 
tled " Remarks on Cellular Separation, read by appointment of 
the American Association for the Improvement of Penal and 
Reformatory Institutions, at the Annual Meeting in New York, 
November 29, 1860." It is a most elaborately finished argu- 
ment, vindicatory of the Pennsjdvania system of Separate Im- 
prisonment, the ripe result of his observations and reflections 

Lesley.] 4Q0 [November 6. 

on this his favorite topic, treating the subject exhaustively, with 
the acumen of a lawyer, and the just feeling of a true philan- 

In March, 1861, a committee, appointed the previous Novem- 
ber, reported in favor of memorializing the Legislature for a 
law to reward the good behavior of convicts with a graduated 
diminution of their sentences. Mr. Foulke opposed this on legal 
grounds, and especially because the nonconcurrence of the Inspec- 
tors of the Eastern Penitentiary had been disregarded. Such 
a law was however obtained. The Inspectors courteously pro- 
posed to the Society an amicable suit to test its validity. A 
case was made, and the Court pronounced the law unconstitu- 
tional. In the initiation and pursuit of his philanthropic mea- 
sures, Mr. Foulke was studiously careful never to put himself 
and his coadjutors into a false position, antagonising the stat- 
utes or authorities of government. If any change of law was 
contemplated, he exhibited a most scrupulous caution to avoid 
hasty and irregular means for reaching the desired end. Hence, 
in a great measure, his power and success in life. And hence 
his resignation from the Acting Committee of the Society, in 
October, 1861, actuated by an unconquerable repugnance to its 
assumed attitude of antagonism to the constituted authorities 
of the Eastern Penitentiary. His motives for this step, are 
lucidly and forcibly set forth in the last article of the last Vol- 
ume of the Journal of Prison Discipline, — an article distin- 
guished for its candor, and no less for the absence of all harsh 
dealing with the arguments of his opponents, — but so obnoxious 
to the friends of the new law, that an abrupt termination was 
put to the publication of the Journal. Resolutely opposed to 
whatever savored of bigotry in politics, religion, or social econ- 
omy, while he patiently listened to all expressions of oppo- 
sing opinions, he claimed a fair hearing in defence of his own. 
Thus ended that long career of active beneficence in this di- 
rection, of which all that has been said about it, is a poor and 
meagre sketch, doing no justice to the weeks and months and 
years devoted to journeys and examinations, consultations, dis- 
cussions, conferences with strangers from other States and from 
European countries, correspondence, reports, addresses, memoirs, 
besides the constant active duties of inspection in Philadelphia, 
and attendance upon legislation at Harrisburg. The science of 

1868.] 4gj_ [Lesley. 

social punishment and reformation he made his life study. It was 
not easy to suggest a practical inquiry that had not engaged his 
thoughts to answer. Persons, therefore, whose views extended 
no further than the actual condition of prisoners, and whose 
exertions were prompted mainly by sympathy with their suffer- 
ings, found it sometimes difficult to follow him into considera- 
tions also for the public welfare, based upon the necessary effi- 
ciency of a legislative and judicial government. His endeavor 
was to reconcile the highest interests of the Commonwealth with 
the utmost exhibition of humanity towards offenders. He had 
no sympathy for extremists, whether they took the side of sever- 
ity or the side of lenity. Penal discipline being assumed need- 
ful, the only problem for him was to adapt it to the physical 
and moral nature of its subjects ; that they should suffer no 
hardship not necessarily involved with the execution of the sen- 
tence of the judge, no diminution of health or intellect, and no 
further degradation of their character, but if possible its rein- 
forcement, to meet temptation again when they reenter free 
society. These were the just demands of a Christian philan- 
thropy. But beyond these first demands, he advocated as little 
interference as possible with the law and its official apparatus. 
This practical, judicious, moderate, candid, and yet earnest zeal, 
was in all other things, also, eminently characteristic of the 

The literary and scientific life of Mr. Foulke showed the same 
ardent temperament under complete control of an enlightened 
and disciplined judgment, the same breadth of views giving due 
value to the most insignificant details, the same elegant tastes 
inspired by a natural force of character which precluded petti- 
ness and special pleading, and the same generous sympathy 
with the labors and progress of society, which distinguished 
the career of his philanthropy. He has left no name in politics, 
because he comprehended from too high a point of view the fun- 
damental questions of the day and nation ; for the same reason 
he left no name in science, because while he took a most unsel- 
fish and sympathetic interest in every investigation and disco- 
very made by his friends at the Academy, he could not devote 
his time to any special branch of natural history. In spite of 

* Many of the material facts narrated above and some of the expressions 
themselves, were furnished by the memoranda of the late Mr. Fred. W. Pack- 
ard, of Philadelphia. 

Lesley.] 4Q9 [November 6. 

the occupations of an active business life, he was seldom absent 
from the regular meetings both in Broad street and in this Hall, 
and no man ever enjoyed more thoroughly, or gave himself up 
more vivaciously to the society of those who dealt exclusively 
in science. On the broad fishing banks of this sublime ocean 
of the unknown and marvelous, he seldom cast the line, but his 
hand was habituated to an equally important task — he was of 
those who knew well how to steer. No man need desire for 
himself a purer fame than that of an executive genius in the 
active world of science. To have been the principal agent in 
setting on foot and seeing safely off an Arctic expedition, is 
sufficient of itself to justify the self-satisfaction of any private 
citizen. In one of his letters to Prof. Bache, dated June 30th, 
1860, he modestly alludes to the sailing of the Expedition 
as " the end of three years of serious and often perplexed 

But I am wrong in saying that he left no name in special 
science. His name is forever joined with one of the most re- 
markable discoveries in Palaeontology, that of the huge Saurian 
of the Cretaceous rocks of New Jersey, the Hadrosaurus 
Foulkei; and to a new shell, the Corbula Foulkei, found in the 
same stratum. The history of this discovery is given in full in 
the Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Phila- 
delphia, under date of December 14th, 1858; and it need not 
here be repeated in detail. It illustrates however his capacity 
for that persevering and intelligent research, to which modern 
science owes its triumphs, too well to be passed over with a 
mere verbal allusion. 

Mr. Foulke was living at a country house in Haddonfield, 
New Jersey, about six miles south-east from Philadelphia, in 
the summer and autumn of 1858. Hearing of fossil bones 
thrown out from the neighboring marl pits of Mr. Hopkins, 
twenty years before, and not succeeding in his attempt to 
recover them, he obtained permission to reopen the old pit to 
search for more. It was no easy matter to find the pit itself; 
and after it had been found, many trials must be made to iden- 
tify the exact place where bones had been discovered. At last 
success crowned the undertaking. In the west wall of the pit, 
under eight feet of surface rock, lay a thin stratum of decom- 
posed shells, and two feet beneath this another, in and on which 

1868.] 4gg [Lesley. 

■were found a pile of monstrous bones, enveloped in the tough, 
tenaceous, bluish marl, from which they were carefully extri- 
cated with a knife and trowel, drawings and measurements 
being made of each bone where it lay, to prevent embarrassment 
in the study. Wrapped in coarse cloth and straw, they were 
despatched to the Museum of the Academy, and are now while I 
address you, being mounted in the lower hall of the Museum, 
by the English geologist, Mr. Hawkins, and at his own expense.* 
The animal specimen thus discovered is unique. No other 
like itf has ever been encountered, either in the New World or 
the Old, although hundreds of bones have been annually turned 
out from the marl pits of the Atlantic seaboard. Most of these 
bones, it is true, have been reburied, or destroyed, through igno- 
rance of their scientific value ; and there is no knowing how 
many skeletons of Hadrosaurus might have been secured. But 
as yet, this is the only one ; and we owe its acquisition to the 
scientific cultivation of one, who was prevented from running a 
brilliant career in special science only by the philosophic scope 
of his whole life, and the obedience which he owed to other 
duties. The creature was an immense herbivorous saurian, with 
huge hind legs and very small arms, a veritable crocodilian kan- 
garoo, as large as an elephant, and as tall as a giraffe. One of 
the highest living authorities, Professor Huxley, has just pub- 
lished his opinion that we have in this and other allied Dinosau- 
rian forms a synthetic type between the reptiles and the birds. 
The Hadrosaurus may have been amphibious in its habits. Its 
long lacertian tail and the structure of its feet suggest aquatic 

* Mr. Hawkins is well known for his admirable palceontological restora- 
tions in the grounds of the Sydenham Palace. He is at present working out, 
in the Museum of the Academy at Philadelphia, similar restorations of Amer- 
ican extinct monsters, for the Central Park at New York. (Nov. 21, 18S8. At 
the meeting of the members of the Academy called to-day to examine the fin- 
ished mounting, and to listen to Mr. Hawkins' description of the parts, Dr. 
Leidy, in behalf of the Curators of the Academy, accepted the gift, returned 
thanks to Mr. Hawkins, and described the discovery of the bones. He gave 
great praise to Mr. Foulke for the resolution with which he pushed forward 
his researches, after having been advised that there was good reason for be- 
lieving, that any bones discoverable would probably be those of mammoth, 
several skeletons of which had been found in marl pits in New Jersey. As the 
bones of Hadrosaurus which were found were those of the left side of the 
animal, on which it lay, it is probable that the lost bones, found twenty years 
previously, had been those of the right side, together with the missing verte- 
brae and skull.) 

t Its nearest relative is the Iguanodon of the Weald & L, green sand de- 
posits of Europe. (Leidy.) 

Lesley.] 4Q4 [Novembers. 

habits ; but when on shore it must have walked in a measure 
erect, like struthous birds, or have leaped like the batrachians. 
When feeding it must have made a tripod of its hind legs and 
tail, grasping with its short forelegs the branches, on the leaves 
or fruit of which it browsed, of some kind of evergreen ; for all 
the specimens of wood found embedded with it proved, on 
microscopic examination, to be coniferous. How its carcass 
came to lie upon a bed of shells, interspersed with these chunks 
of wood, is hard to explain. The shells were of forty-two dif- 
ferent species, and some of them so fragile and jet so unin- 
jured, the most tender and delicate forms showing no trace 
of abrasion, and the two valves of all the bivalves being still 
together, that the water in which they lived must have been 
either perfectly protected from the winds, or else profoundly 
deep. The marl itself is sufficient evidence of the stoppage of 
all the currents carrying sand. We might therefore suppose 
a bog — or lagoon — or archipelago deposit. But this suppo- 
sition is opposed by the great geographical extent of the Mid- 
dle Cretaceous Formation, from New York to New Orleans and 
Cairo ; and by the uniform composition of the mineral, and uni- 
form thickness of the stratum. 

It remains then to determine the limits of the ocean in 
which, and the direction of the muddy current by which it was 
deposited. The investigation of this question has never to nvy 
knowledge been undertaken. Instead of that, an undue degree 
of attention has been bestowed upon the question of mere age. 
Vanuxem, Morton, Rogers, Tuomey, Hall, Meek, Hayden, Mar- 
cou, Cooke, Lyell, D'Orbigny, Man tell, are all in turn cited by 
Mr. Lea, as expressing discordant opinions in attempting a cor- 
relation of the Green Sand marls of our side, with the Lower, 
Middle or Upper Green Sand of the other side of the Atlantic, 
by means of the imbedded forms of animal life. Now recent in- 
vestigations into the Cretaceous and Tertiary Formations of the 
West, — investigations still continued on the largest scale, — 
teach us how little value is to be set on fossils, whether animal 
or vegetable, especially vegetable, as indicators of precise con- 
temporaneity. They show how the principle of life has pursued 
its route of development through a normal series of forms, at 
different rates on distant continents, and in separate water 
basins ; one region out-stripping another in the Darwinian race ; 

1868.1 495 [Lesley. 

and anticipating it in the fresher analogons of the fading out life- 
forms. Questions then of the comparative chronology of strata 
in Europe/ and America by fossils, are of less importance than 
questions of structure and process and condition — questions 
not of the when, but of the how and why. 

Where was the forest in which this strange creature browsed ? 
What was the river down which his dead body floated ? Where 
ran the shores of the sea in the marl of which he sank ? Why 
were his bones not destroyed before the sediment could cover 
them ? How high were the Germantown hills in that Cretaceous 
era ? And what was the Gulf Stream doing ? How far may 
the dip of the visible strata carry out the marl beneath the 
Atlantic seaboard ? What has given this almost imperceptible 
and yet universal south-east inclination to all the Cretaceous 
and Tertiary Formations of the Tide Water border of our Con- 
tinent ? These, and other questions like them, are worthy of 
the sleepless thought of our geologists. But a prolonged dis- 
cussion of whether the facies of the fauna of the Haddonfleld 
marls is enough like the facies of the fauna of the Blackdown 
Greensand of Fitton, or the Ce'nomanien of D'Orbigny's enu- 
meration, to establish the Synchronism of their deposition, seems 
almost puerile, as we know that every region has its different 
fauna at the present moment. Such questions may do to ex- 
ercise the observations of young geologists and stimulate their 
classifications. But trained and experienced thinkers will busy 
themselves with far more difficult and delicate questions, until 
the settlement of which our science will continue to wear too 
much the semblance of a watchcase without the works. It was 
chiefly because of his interest in such questions, that Mr. Foulke 
never engaged in the determination of specific forms. His mind 
was philosophic in the largest and highest sense, and loved to 
deal with questions of the most comprehensive reach ; while he 
felt all the importance of accuracy in details, and the genuine- 
ness of fundamental data. But he was especially inspired by 
the progress of Human Knowledge ; and many an hour he spent 
discussing its steps and stages in the history of the past, its 
lines of movement now, and the indications of its future course.* 

* Mr. Cope has recently made the important discovery of a fresh-water stra- 
tum of blue clay, apparently lower in position than the Hadrosaurus bed of 
Haddonfleld. The new locality is six miles north-east of Camden, and ten 
miles north of the pit in which the Hadrosaurus was found (see Mr. Isaac Lea's 
VOL. x. — 3p 

Lesley.] 496 [November 6. 

Among the earliest acts of the founders of the Academy of 
Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, was a resolution that its 
origin should date from the 21st day of March, A. D., 1812. 
The Anniversary of this day in 1854, was a marked occasion; 
because of the desire that the members felt to celebrate the 
erection of their New Hall. Members, Correspondents and 
their guests assembled at a sumptuous dinner in the Musical 
Fund Hall. On the evening previous a discourse was pronounced 
by Mr. Poulke before an audience assembled in the Hall of the 

paper in the Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 
read June 9, 1868). Eight species of Unio and two species of Anodonta were 
found by Mr. Cope. Mr. Conrad refers the blue clay to an ancient water-course 
of the Delaware river, which there is some reason to believe crossed middle 
New Jersey in a direct line to the sea shore. If this blue clay be indeed 
above the Hadrosaurus Green Sands, then the remarks above, in the text, on 
the invalidity of fossil determinations of age between widely separated re- 
gions receive additional force j for the fresh-water Wealden, with its Iguano- 
don remains underlies the Green Sand of England. On the other hand, Messrs. 
Meek and Hayden have found extensive fresh-water deposits-at the mouth of 
the Judith river in the Central basin of the North American Continent, and 
consider them as constituting the bottom subdivision (No. 1) of the Middle 
Cretaceous. Such deposits can hardly have relationships of time with one 
another as marine deposits have. They are the local phenomena of all ages. 
The Delaware river has flowed in about the same channel which it now occu- 
pies ever since the close of the New Bed, Norristown, or Connecticut Elver 
Sand Stone era ; a channel determined by the topographical features of the 
Baltimore-Philadelphia Lower Silurian (Quebec Group 1) hills, on which Ger- 
mantown, back of Philadelphia, is situated, and terminating in a promontory 
at Trenton. This range of hill land must have been higher in the air before 
the close of the New Eed era than now, because it has suffered immense ero- 
sion since then. But apart from that consideration, it must have been carried 
bodily upward to a still higher general level, by that rise of the Continent, 
■which not only dried the New Bed estuary basin, but elevated the New Bed 
sediments many hundred feet, forming the Pennsylvania and New Jersey New 
Bed hill country of the present day. But this elevation could not have been 
effected without the production either of hill country, low plains, or subma- 
rine shallows all along the area now occupied by Southern New Jersey, Dela- 
ware, &c. The Biver Delaware may at that time have had a much longer 
course, but in what direction, would be determined by the nature of the 
uplifted land. It may have meandered through vast marshes, like those of 
the Carolina sea board ; or it may even have flowed far away toward the south- 
west into the Susquehannah river, itself prolonged. In this river channel 
would have been deposited the fresh-water blue clay with Mr. Cope's Union- 
id£e. Subsequently, a reversed or downward movement shortened the river, 
submerged the outside land, produced an archipelago along the coast and 
permitted the deposit of the Cretaceous and Tertiary formations, which, by a 
flnal reelevation, have now become Southern New Jersey, Delaware, Eastern 
Virginia, &c. But the more recent discovery of the bones of a postpleiocene 
horse, by Prof. Cope, in such relations to this clay bed, as to make it pretty 
certain that the animal was embedded in it, near its lower limit, relieves us 
from the necessity of considering the deposit older than the Hadrosaurus 

1868.] ^97 [Lesley. 

University of Pennsylvania. This address was afterwards 
published for the Academy. It recounts the progress of the 
Academy from its beginning, when, in the shop of an apoth- 
ecary, at the north-east corner of Market and Second streets, 
John Speakman called about him the intelligent scholars and 
amateur naturalists which Philadelphia already then possessed, 
making his shop a centre of literary and scientific gossip, and 
then with Jacob Gilliams, Troost, McMahon, Mann, John Shinn 
and Parmentier, organized regular meetings in Mercer's Cake 
Shop near the corner of Market street and Franklin place. He 
described the growth of the Museum, from the time of its re- 
moval to the corner of Twelfth and George streets, 1828, until 
it filled with its treasures the rooms it occupies now to over- 

An apology for such an institution follows naturally in the 
course of his address. It was not an uncalled for display of elo- 
quence. The fine sciences and fine arts cannot flourish in the 
open air of a democratic commonwealth. They need the hot 
house culture which the concentrated power of an autocracy, or 
the exclusive privileges of an oligarchy, alone seem competent 
to afford. The splendid monuments of Egypt and India rose at 
the bidding of tyrants, invested with priestly omnipotence. 
The glories of Athens and of Rome appeared at sunset of their 
republican liberties. The learning of Islam was the culture of 
the Caliphs. Norman and Gothic architecture was imported from 
the Orient at the close of Crusades, which destroyed the peerage 
of feudalism, and constituted empires from its ruins. The com- 
merce of Genoa and Venice manured the ground, but the Dorias, 
Viscontis and Medicis, planted and reaped the first crops of that 
art and that learning which we now enjoj r . The Paris of to-day 
is a monument of irresponsible power in the hands of a man. 
The London of to-day is a monument of irresponsible power in 
the hands of a class. But the Philadelphia of to-day builds no 
monuments. It builds private stores, private churches, and 
private mansions. Its great lack is an absence of centralization. 
Its democratic polity is that of an army without head quarters. 
Illnatured criticism would have too much reason if it said 
that it belonged in the division of the Articulata. Its intellect 
and taste, like scattered brands, cannot blaze and spread into a 
general flame. Our citizenship plumes itself, not on realizing 

Lesley.] 498 [November 6. 

great ideas of public good and beauty, but on the universal dis- 
tribution of loaves and fishes to the multitude. A cynical herald 
might escape punishment who gave for its blazon a dragon Ar- 
gent, couchant, on a field Or, drinking champagne from an oyster 
shell, and holding aloft a liberty cap upon the end of its tail. 

Philadelphia was once governed by an aristocracy of intellect 
and taste. But our Wistar party is no more. Our Chinese Mu- 
seum is burnt down. Our Museum of Natural History is per- 
ishing for want of a few thousands to pay for its proper care. 
Our Philosophical Society owns scarcely a single book that rep- 
resents the advanced intelligence of the present generation, and 
the few that it possesses are acknowledged in its proceedings as 

Is there not an explanation of all this at hand ? Are not pri- 
vate luxury and public spirit inconvertible forces of nature, — 
mutually destructive. The associative interests of a democracy 
produce a uniform balance of rights, and a uniform mediocrity 
of character ; while the personal pride of an aristocrat compels 
him to shine as a public benefactor. While vulgar men grasp 
political power to convert it to the base uses of the present 
hour, men of rank in family, intellect, and taste, regard the 
future, and love the grand : Noblesse oblige. 

Mr. Foulke did not, indeed, say these things in his anniver- 
sary address, when he urged the utility of preserving and en- 
larging the Museum of the Acadenry of Natural History, for the 
well-being of the population of his native city. But in pri- 
vate conversation, no one lamented more that general lack of 
appreciation for the more spiritual adornments of a common- 
wealth which is manifested by even those who devote them- 
selves most zealously to schemes for increasing the material 
wealth and comfort of the community. 

In this discourse he exclaims : " Do you not desire to become 
participators in some way with those who are hereafter to 
strengthen and enlarge the resources of such an institution and 
to apply them to the general good ? As men you have the com- 
mon interest of the species in whatever can augment and vary 

the instruments of civilization Surrounded by luxuries, 

secure in the enjoyments of home, or engaged in the cheerful 
commerce of society, have you no offering to make to the treas- 
ury of this temple ? . . . You have children, who may be taught 

1868.] 499 [Lesley. 

the value and the dignity of its relationships to human progress. 
Consider how your obligations are strengthened by circum- 
stances peculiar to the age in which you live, or to your own 
country. . . . Let men of science be assured that you appreciate 
what they are doing and suffering. . . . The days of Are and fag- 
got have indeed passed away, . . . yet the roll of the martyrs of 
science was not ended with those who suffered by the dungeon 
or the stake. ... It is hazarding nothing to say that an impor- 
tant novelty in science, however clearly and firmly attested, 
might be received as unwillingly and contested as hotly, and 
might make as wide breaches of social connections, as could be 
asserted of the modern systems of astronomy and geology at the 
time of their first promulgation. ... It is over the newly-made 
grave of Morton that science once more appeals to mankind to 
cease from outraging the name of Religion by persecutions of 
those who honestly seek to read aright the works of the Master 
of Life." 

As may be judged by these dislocated fragments of discourse, 
Mr. Foulke was an ardent champion for freedom of scientific 
and religious opinion. His zeal in this quarter led him to the 
publication of a pamphlet, in 1857, entitled "Notice of Some 
Remarks by the late Mr. Hugh Miller, &c," being certain pas- 
sages on pages 159, 160, 161 of the first American edition (1854) 
of Mr. Miller's Lecture on the Two Records, Mosaic and Geo- 
logical, and other passages on pages 111 to 115. These passages 
were cited by Mr. Foulke at a meeting of the Academy (May 9, 
1854), in a kind and most respectful manner, merely with the 
design to guard against such unwarranted generalizations of 
science as Mr. Miller allowed himself for theological purposes. 
His remarks bore upon the importance of maintaining scrutiny 
of the logic of the natural sciences, especially now, during a 
prevailing disposition to " reconcile" the results of scientific re- 
searches, by extreme processes, with the popular interpretation 
of certain texts of the Mosaic history. 

In the next American edition of the Two Records, published 
shortly before Mr. Miller's death, notes to these pages appeared, 
charging Mr. Foulke with downright unfairness, and speaking 
scornfully of his connection with a learned society. In order to 
correct such complete misapprehension of the motive and drift 
of his criticism, Mr. Foulke replied at the meeting of the Acad- 

Lesley.] cqq [November 6. 

emy, May 5, 1857, giving all due credit and respect to so distin- 
guished an opponent, but reiterating and re-enforcing his argu- 
ments, and rebutting the charges made against himself. Soon 
after the appearance of the notice in the Proceedings of the 
Academy, Mr. Davies, a Scottish clergyman, addressed a letter 
to Mr. Foulke, expressing hearty concurrence with his view of 
the value of Mr. Miller's reasoning. 

Another episode in Mr. Foulke's life was produced by the tan- 
talizing circumstances connected with the suspension of the Re- 
ports of the Geological Survey of Pennsylvania. The field work, 
which had occupied seven years, ceasing in the fall of 1840, the 
materials for illustrating the final Report were placed by Pro- 
fessor Rogers in my hands; and in 1842 I had completed the 
State Map, the Geological Sections across the State, and drawn 
or redrawn for the wood-cutter all the diagrams which afterwards 
Were published in the two quarto volumes of the Final Report. 
Then my connection with the survey ceased. Mr. Rogers moved 
his residence to Boston. There was a dead-lock between him 
and the State authorities at Harrisburg. They held the treasury 
and he kept the manuscripts. 

At the beginning of the winter of 1846, '4T, he wrote to me to 
come to him in Boston. A demand for the MSS. had been made 
which he could not resist, and he wished me to duplicate the 
whole, which I did : the Map of the State, the long sections, and 
all the illustrations of the text, with parts of the text itself. This 
copy was sent to Harrisburg. There it lay, without finding an 
editor, until the winter of 1850, '51, forgotten or despised. Some 
said it was useless ; others, that it would be used too well by de- 
signing men. Some accused it of tedious verbiage ; others, of 
culpable incompleteness. Some alleged that the surface of Penn- 
sylvania was still too unsettled to make a truthful survey pos- 
sible ; others, that the progress of mining and railroad surveying 
had left the assertions of the report behind them among dis- 
proved and exploded things. There were hardly a dozen men 
in the whole Commonwealth who knew either the character of 
the Report or the actual value of the Survey. Among these Mr. 
Poulke occupied perhaps the most prominent position ; and he 
it was who finally succeeded in dragging up the buried manu- 
script into public notice, and in stimulating sufficiently public 
opinion in its favor to get an act passed for its publication. The 

1868.] CQi [Lesley. 

fight "was stubborn. Mr. Rogers, being advised to remain at a 
distance and abide the result, did not appear in the transaction. 
The cry was raised, Let us have the final Report, whatever it 
is, and have done with it ! let us see what' we have paid a hun- 
dred thousand dollars for, at all events. 

On the 12th of April, 1851, a resolution passed the Legislature 
by a vote of 49 to 42, appropriating $32,000 to the revision and 
publication of the Pinal Report of the survey. Excepting one 
or two who were entrusted with the secret, the members were 
unaware that additional surveying was in question. Mr. Rogers 
however, immediately took the field, assisted by Mr. Sheafer, Mr. 
Desor, Mr. Lesquereux, and myself. Mr. Sheafer brought to the 
work his long experience and thorough acquaintance with the 
underground of the anthracite region. Mr. Lesquereux perfected 
his system for identifying the different coal-beds by their vege- 
table fossils. Mr. Desor applied his Alpine studies to the local 
drift, the outcrop marks of the region to be studied. I under- 
took the task of mapping on a large scale, and representing in 
light and shade the surface aspects, the outcrop terraces, the 
sandstone ribbing of the gaps, the varied erosion of the crests, 
and the relationship which the opened gangways bore to these. 
The Southern Basin, from ten miles east of Pottsville to twenty 
miles west of it, was cross-barred in parallel lines, one or two 
thousand feet apart, running from the crest of the Sharp Moun- 
tain, about N. 25° W. to the crest of. the Broad Mountain, and 
in some cases to the summit overlooking the valley of the Ma- 
hanoy. These lines, measured, levelled, and staked, were tied 
together by transverse staked and levelled lines, one set running 
along the hill tops, another along the valley bottoms. To this 
system all the railroad surveys were tied ; the branch roads, 
gangways, trial and air shafts were located properly; and in a 
few indispensible cases, where beds had not been opened, new 
trial shafts were made. 

Six months passed thus, every working moment occupied. 
The map advanced as the surveying furnished the material. Still, 
quite as much remained undone. Another year was wanting to 
complete the first and second basins, to say nothing of the third. 
But Mr. Rogers could not keep his corps together. The follow- 
ing spring he employed a land surveyor (Mr. Poole) to com- 
plete the map as far as Mauch Chunk, and joined with him a 

Lesley.] 502 [November 6. 

worthy geologist, Mr- Dalsen. These gentlemen reduced my 
large sheet maps to one on a very small scale, which was some 
years afterwards published as part of the Atlas of the Final 

The sheets of the great map have never seen the light. They 
are probably in Mr. Rogers' portfolios. He once informed me 
that he considered them the only perquisite attached to his office 
as chief of the survey. The loss is perhaps now irreparable. 
They became private property by a subsequent act of Legisla- 
ture. For the act of 1851 seemed to bring the publication of the 
Final Report no nearer to a pass than ever. And it was not 
until an arrangement was made, by which Mr. Rogers should 
obtain personal propriety of all the records, maps, pictures, and 
characteristic fossils of the survey, for the consideration of one 
thousand copies delivered to the Legislature, that the book ap- 
peared. And this was not until 1859, when the publication was 
made by a firm in Edinburgh. 

Mr. Foulke's interest in the Survey was of a purely scientific 
and philanthropic character. In Februarj', 1851, he wrote to Mr. 
Gr. H. Hart, a member of the House : " You are aware that I 
have no connection with nor interest in such a subject, except 
what is common to all my fellow citizens — that in my journeys 
through many of our counties (probably more than two-thirds 
of them), and in conversation with experienced persons, and in 
my reading of essays and reports of scientific men and other 
ways, I have received illustrations more numerous than those 
to which other citizens have general access ; and that the convic- 
tions thus fastened upon me are the reasons for my intervention 
in this business." He wrote to Mr. Rogers, the same month : 
" It is proper to say to you that any part which I take respect- 
ing the publication of the final report upon the geology of Penn- 
sylvania is prompted exclusively by my opinion of the value of 
that report ; by a regard to the position occupied by the State 
government, and by a sense of justice in relation to yourself. 
It will therefore be unnecessary to include me in any pecuniary 
arrangement which it may appear to you expedient to make for 
the purpose of forwarding the publication." 

And it was in this spirit that all his acts having reference to 
public affairs were performed. 

1868.] CQg [Lesley. 

Another instance of his active interest in things affecting the 
general good, is afforded by the history of the erection of the 
Academy of Music, or Opei - a House, at the corner of Broad and 
Locust streets. " I am not of the number of those (he wrote to 
a friend, under date of April 3d, 1852,) who think that the short- 
ness of life is a reason for despising or avoiding its enjoyments, 
but it is a reason for maintaining a proportion and subordination 
of our activities, and for selecting the objects of these according 
to a standard of choice which accords with the highest laws of 
conduct known to our race." There remain among his private 
papers ''more than 120 memoranda, drafts of speeches, letters, 
notes, &c, in his handwriting, having reference' to the project. 
He was one of three who set the enterprise on foot, and he 
promptly took practical measures with regard to it. The 
earliest decisive movement towards it was in 1852, when 
[March 4th, 1852] an Act to incorporate the 'American 
Academy of Music ' was passed. A supplement to this act of 
incorporation was drafted in the following April, by Mr. Poulke, 
and was taken by Mr. A. H. Smith, to Harrisburg. Owing to 
the financial condition of our country the project lay dormant 
for a year. In April, 1853, Mr. Foulke set about stirring up in 
its favour the interest of influential persons. He advocated the 
undertaking for a variety of reasons. He held that ' to lay the 
foundation of such a system would enable us hereafter to com- 
mand the best musical talent of the world, and would enable us 
to provide for the cultivation of such talent among ourselves.' 
Contemplatin'g the use of the Opera House for representation 
also of the drama, he desired to see brought about the purification 
of the taste and manners of the masses, by elevating the stand- 
ard of popular amusements of this sort." 

His views respecting the proper method of attaining this de- 
sirable end were peculiar to the generous scope of his own 
mind, and illustrate his character well. He contended for a 
music house for the people at large; not to be one of the 
exclusive luxuries of the fashionable and wealthy ; a house to 
contain four or five thousand persons, admitted at low rates; 
an institution to excite general popularity ; able to cultivate a 
universal taste for the best music, and obtaining thus every year 
a surer guaranty for its usefulness ; " providing " as he said, 
" by liberality of design for the future enlargement of our musi- 
vol. x 3q 

Lesley.] grM [November (5. 

cal and dramatic resources, regard being had to the rapid growth 
of our population and wealth." He designed as part of the 
plan, a liberal support for the minor perfomers, so that they 
might be, or become, permanent residents of the city, and thus 
prevent the Opera House from falling into the hands of foreign 
managers of troupes, whose expenses would necessarily raise the 
price of tickets to a figure that must practically exclude the 
people. But he was overruled ; and the erection of an Academy 
of Music has done comparatively little for popularising the best 
music of the old world among the common people of our city. 
Whereas, the effects of its central influence should already have 
been seen in an improvement in musical culture in every county 
of the State ; just as the influence of the Loyal Union League 
has improved the political knowledge, sentiment and zeal of the 
whole commonwealth. 

The quality of Mr. Foulke's mind may be measured, perhaps, 
as well by his Essay on the Right Use of History, as by any 
other memorial of his life. He had been one, with Mr. Joseph R. 
Ingersoll, the Rev. Albert Barnes, and Bishop Potter, appointed 
to deliver addresses before the Pennsylvania Historical Society, 
in December, 1850. His address was published, with others, in 
1856. It shows his disposition to take the most comprehensive 
view of every subject coming under his attention. He chose for 
his theme the practical advantage of a study of history for the 
young, and the best method of reaping that advantage. Grant- 
ing the value of special research, he urged that more was neces- 
sary than " merely to gather, with the minute diligence of the 
typical antiquary, relics of the former time ; to trace partially 
defaced inscriptions ; to perpetuate images of decaying edifices, 
or the details of obsolete wardrobes. Whatever the associations 
which invest these with a value, or bind them to us by ties of 
a personal interest, they are comparatively trivial incidents to 
our pursuits. Even the events which are most widely known, 
and the men who shine most conspicuously among the great 
actors of the past, have a limited historical value ; the extent of 
which is determined by their contributions to moral results. It is 
to the definition of these results, and their communication to our 
fellow men, that our associate efforts should tend." He showed 
how " the influence of history even upon adults is subject to grave 
qualifications, since some of its examples are available only in an 

1868.] 505 [Lesley. 

imperfect manner, even as guides to the understanding ; for the 
shifting of circumstances renders it often difficult, and in some 
cases impossible, to establish for ourselves a certain theory of 
cause and effect. The conduct of men depends not upon de- 
tached facts or doctrines merely remembered, whether they have 
been learned early or late in life ; but upon habits of thought and 
feeling ; upon the association of ideas with the impulses which 
directly prompt to action. No school instruction can do more 
than establish such associations ; none can perfect the knowledge, 
nor unalterably fix the habits of pupils. Hence, the selection of 
the ends of conduct , the adjustment of the relative rank of prin- 
ciples ; the establishment of certain habitual criteria ; and the 
promoting of that development and orderly exercise of each 
faculty, which result from judicious discipline^-unless we pur- 
pose amusement or display, these must be the objects of instruc- 
tion in history." 

In my own personal intercourse with Mr. Foulke, which was 
frequent and intimate, I was profoundly impressed by one char- 
acteristic of his mind, more than by almost any other ; namely, 
a hopelessness respecting the attainment of definite knowledge. 
This hopelessness was the result of two facts in his experience ; 
first, that by reading diligently in almost every department of 
human science, he had attained an intellectual point of view, 
from which the boundlessness of nature and history and human 
life could be descried ; and secondly, in devoting special zeal to 
special investigations, he had learned that the most judicious 
could seldom decide with confidence the absolute truth or the ab- 
stract right in anything. Among all my acquaintances I had no 
other whose spirit echoed so to the letter the despair of the wise 
man of Palestine, that the search after knowledge would ever be 
anything else than vanity and vexation of spirit. Inspired by this 
sentiment, he urges in this address, that " we should in vain at- 
tempt to teach all history," quoting his favorite, Dr. Arnold, who, 
after rising to the first rank of philosophical historians, could say 
" of many large and fruitful districts in the vast territory of 
modern history I possess only the most superficial knowledge ; 
of some I am all but totally ignorant ;" and Robertson : " the 
collections of historical materials are so vast, the term of human 
life is too short for the study or even the perusal of them. What 
then can be done during the longest academics period ?" 

Lesley.] eng [November 6. 

His conclusion is that the details of history must be taught in 
the most abject subordination to its principles. The memorizing 
of dates must give way before the inculcation of ethical doctrines. 
The heart beats with a time of its own, not measured by the stars. 
The commencement of the Christian era itself is undetermined. 
His scheme of school instruction, then, at least for the mass of 
learners in American schools, limited itself to the inculcation of 
" select practical precepts, illustrated by historical examples, 
and enforced by the aids used for the development of personal 

In illustration of this scheme, I am tempted to quote page 
after page of this elegant and forcible address, but neither time 
permits, nor is more needful to show how naturally he generalized 
always in a practically philanthropic direction. He would con- 
duct school discipline as he would guide prison discipline, out 
of the Egypt of empiricism into the promised land of life-inspir- 
ing philosophy. The schoolmaster as well as the jailor must be 
a philanthropist : the one must treat his prisoner and the other 
his scholar with an eye to make him a worthy citizen of the Re- 
public. Therefore, in teaching history, facts are to be grouped 
about principles and doctrines, and to be remembered only when 
these principles and doctrines are to be applied. And his argu- 
ments were, that thus history can be taught with equal success 
to all classes of learners ; the instruction can be made permanent 
in the mind and life ; the gi - eat events of the past can be made 
to produce their greatest effect upon sentiments while plastic in 
the spring-time of life ; a sentiment for civil obedience will 
grow along with the sentiment of domestic duty ; and the love 
of progress can be harmoniously linked with a rational adherence 
to a settled order of things. The struggle of ages between the 
partisans of change and the adherents of established order, — the 
excesses of demand and of resistance, — the action of a majoritj"- 
prompted more by particular evils alleged or felt than by any 
consistent general estimate of the effects of existing institutions, 

and the acrimonious character of political partisanship, will 

become evils of the past. 

I have used his own expressions, scattered over the pages of 
this address. But I would not give the impression that he held 
Utopian views. Far from it. The only hope of the future which 
he cherished was of the largest and longest term. His political 

Lesley.] r )07 [November 6. 

motto was " the fraternity of the race." He did not believe in 
republicanism as the only and sufficient panacea for the woes of 
society. " When we read," he says, — " when we read of mobs 
of the ancient world, who broke open senators' houses, and piled 
and fired their furniture in the forum ; who took forcible posses- 
sion of the rostra, and who disturbed or suspended the comitia 
by outcry or violence ; who even pressed upon the senate so that 
the knights and others guarded the deliberations with drawn 
swords ; who fired temples erected by obnoxious citizens, and 
who nullified legislative decrees constitutionally enacted,: — we 
might attribute these disorders to the impatience of oppressed 
subjects, or to the licentiousness"' of mercenary adherents of pro- 
fligate men striving for power and for the control of the public 
treasury. But when we turn to this republic, so wisely organ- 
ized, so liberal in its institutions, so jealously restricted in favor 
of popular rights, so rich in the means of physical prosperity, — 
this Republic, in which no man attains to power except upon 
the uncontrolled votes of free electors ; and even here, behold 
the same riotous excesses, the same armed intrusions upon the 
elective franchise ; ballot-boxes forcibly broken open, and plun- 
dered, or abstracted, or fraudulently filled with spurious votes ; 
contests with bludgeons and more deadly weapons ; our citizens 
slaughtering each other in the open streets, and lighting the 
darkness of night by the flames of churches fired by their incen- 
diary torches ; and finally, when we see that these outrages, 
which charity might have attributed to a passing phrensy, are 
succeeded by deliberate attempts to nullify the laws of the land, 
— surely we have reason to look further than the subjects of con- 
troversy to discover the true sources of political mischiefs so 
dangerous to the commonwealth. Where can we find these, if 
not in those germs of individual character for the proper culture 
of which we design our methods of education ?"* 

* The allusions in this passage are, probably, to the bloodshed and burnings 
at Philadelphia, in the so called "Catholic Riots" of 1844; but they bear as 
pertinent an application to the elections of 1888. Mr. Foulke was then a young 
man. He immediately offered his services, in company with two of his young 
friends, Mr. Aubrey H. Smith and Mr. J. I. Clark Hare, to Mayor Scott, who ap- 
pointed them his aids. They proposed the raising of a company to be composed 
of respectable young men. Lieut. Izard, of the Navy, was made Captain. It was 
stationed, on Thursday night, to guard St. Patrick's Church, and on the follow- 
ing night, at the College of St. Charles Borromeo, where many amusing episodes 
took place between the young men— the guards and the guarded. What 

Lesley.] 508 [November 6. 

His cure for these evils of the society of all ages was no mechan- 
ical arrangement of the social machinery, no paper constitution, 
ballot box, or national flag ; but a profound inoculation of each 
rising generation with the genius of Christian order, sympathy 
with justice and truth, and faith in the great dogma of the nine- 
teenth century, the brotherhood of man. He predicted that " this 
idea of the fraternity of the race, so interesting in moral history, 
so fundamental to all rational theories of social connection and 
intercourse, is now approaching the place which it is ultimately 
to hold in the councils of nations, as well as in the minor arrange- 
ments of civil communities. " Teach this to our youth, if all else 
be unlearned. It is of incalculably greater worth than all the 
skeleton histories ever compiled." 

Our friend was a true American. He loved his country and 
his own State, but in a large and generous way, and with many- 
sided sympathies for other races and peoples whom he never 
even saw. I remember well a curious illustration of this many- 
sidedness, which took place in his own dining room. Pour men 
sat around the breakfast table. One, was an old school abolition- 
ist, the personal friend of William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell 
Phillips ; another, was a distinguished rabbi of the Jewish syna- 
gogue, with intense pro-slavery predilections ; the third was a 
black man, a graduate of Oxford, and president of the Theologi- 
cal Seminary at Liberia ; and the fourth, was the host. A party 
incongruous enough. Few men would be capable of fusing to- 
gether such odd elements. But he could do it. And that with- 
out the sacrifice of either dignity or principle. Holding his own 
position firmly, he could estimate the worth of the most opposite 
characters, and draw from every kind of soil its own peculiar 
fruits. There was in him such a combination of religious faith 
with clear-sighted skepticism, — such a love of the good old 
ways, mixed with a zeal for better things to come, — such com- 
threatened to be a national calamity, but was in fact only a salutary exercise 
of brute force by society, in its irresponsible state, determined at all hazards 
to suppress a chronic nuisance, — ended, when the desired object was attained, 
in a sudden and spontaneous return to the ordinary state of things. The good 
effects of this terrible outbreak of popular indignation against the great and 
otherwise intangible element of political disturbance in Philadelphia were 
felt lor many years. But the appearance and v bearing of our military volun- 
teers may have preserved the city from secondary evils consequent upon the 
loosening of the ordinary restraints of the law upon the viler part of its popu- 

I8(!S.] Kng [Lesley. 

prehension of the springs of prejudice, with such reverence for 
whatever was true and noble in the lives and hearts of the most 
prejudiced — that he could be the adviser and the friend of all. 

In politics, he said himself, that he was a Federalist. " Read 
the Federalist, and you will learn what I think." At a dinner 
given by the Maryland Historical Society, at Baltimore, in Feb- 
ruary, 1853, he had occasion to reply to some violent and inflam- 
matory political remarks which fell from Senator Toombs of 
Georgia, who was one of the guests. Mr. Crittenden, who was 
also present, coming round the table to where Mr. Foulke was 
sitting, said that he wished to introduce himself to a gentleman 
who had reproved treasonable sentiments in so patriotic and 
forcible, and yet so controlled a manner. To the day of his 
death his treatment of those whom he considered the enemies 
of the Republic, was marked by a mixture of fearless sincerity 
and gentlemanly courtesy. In the vehemence of his feelings I 
never heard him use a harsh or ill-bred expression. A more lov- 
ing, affectionate heart never beat. He was the tenderest of 
husbands and fathers. 

It is not for me to enter more deeply into his inner life. He 
always expressed respect for the established forms of worship, 
while professing his entire independence of established creeds. 
The same moderation which characterized his mental estimate 
o!" the ultimate value of scientific attainments, those made by 
even the best thinkers, in view of the infinite copiousness, com- 
plexity and obscurity of the facts of the material world, equally 
characterized his estimate of the absolute finality of theologi- 
cal opinions based upon a discussion of invisible and spiritual 
things, the final causes of the universe, and the eschatology of 
schoolmen. He seemed to hold fast only by the moral prin- 
ciples of Christanity, the evident wisdom and goodness of God, 
the perfect adaptation of the Christian Gospel to remedy the 
evils and guide the upward progress of human life, the beauty of 
personal virtue, and the harmonious concurrence of reason and 

To this essential religious side of his character fitted his 
aesthetic sentiment, a keen appreciation of the beauties of nature, 
and a pure taste in high art. His private letters from the 
romantic scenes of our Pennsylvania mountain country breathe 

Lesley.] gin [November 6, 1868. 

not only the most healthy enjoyment of every object in nature, 
but that power of a cultivated imagination which transforms 
objects of sensible perception into symbols of thought and feel- 
ing. In times of trouble and personal sorrow he drew consola- 
tion and acquired new fortitude from the mute phantasmagoria 
of the earth and air ; that pantomimic drama, where every scene 
infolds some esoteric mystery, only to be interpreted by those 
who have passed through the initiations. 

His remarkable powers of conversation are known to all his 
acquaintances. He seemed to have read every book, to have 
known personally every representative man of the day, to have 
traveled through all the regions of modern knowledge. He nar- 
rated, and he argued, with equal perspicacity of view, purity of 
language, precision of details, and fulness of illustration ; and 
perhaps no better conclusion to this slight sketch of his life and 
character can be made than by quoting what one of the most 
distinguished and one of the most temperately judicious of his 
fellow members in this Society said of him, after his death : " In 
all the world I have never met any one having the same extent 
and variety of knowledge, who had at the same time such accu- 
racy and precision of knowledge." 

Time enough has elapsed to enable us to estimate and lament 
his loss to us in this Hall ; for he was preeminently one of those 
who kept alive the spirit of this Society; relieving our meetings 
of that stiffness and barrenness, which it always proves so diffi- 
cult a task to remedy, where a few only assemble, periodically, 
not to relate their personal experimental discoveries, but to lis- 
ten to the more general conclusions of philosophic thought. 
Nothing but the leading intelligence of a vivacious, enthusi- 
astic, fearless, general scholar can save such meetings from de- 
generating into a dry observance of parliamentarj^ forms, op- 
pressed by the ennui of a constrained, cold silence, or the still 
less endurable ennui of a pseudo-scientific gossip in which 
everything is crudely said or timorbusly hinted at. It is not 
too much to affirm that the new life which this Society has be- 
gun to exhibit, is greatly due to the cultivated mental activity, 
the eloquent speech, the administrative ability, and the enthusi- 
astic interest in everything occurring within these walls, cease- 
lessly exhibited by William Parker Foulke.